Victor Pichardo was born in Mexico City. His training in Mexican folk music has spanned most of his life, learning orally, first-hand from master artists in Mexico’s various musical regions. During these years, he amassed not only a great deal of knowledge about many different Mexican folk styles, but also a sizable musical instrument and sound recording collection that he continues to mine for inspiration.
As a result, Víctor plays over 50 different folk instruments used for the music of different regions of Mexico. He has released twelve commercial recordings and was a founding member of Zazhil (1981-1996), an international touring group from Mexico. In 1994 he co-founded Sones de Mexico Ensemble with Juan Díes and has served as its Music Director from the beginning.
Today, he holds a degree in Music Composition from Columbia College, which included an internship in film scoring in Hollywood, CA. In recent years, Victor has increasingly expanded his musical palette by scoring for symphonic and chamber ensembles often in combination with Mexican folk instruments and rhythms to produce new, innovative colors.
He has produced commissions for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonieta, and Sones de México that reflect this direction.Victor teaches son jarocho at the Old Town School of Folk Music and directs a youth mariachi ensemble at Benito Juarez High School in Chicago. He has twice been the recipient of the coveted Illinois Arts Council Fellowship award and thrice the Master Apprentice teaching award.